June 25, 2016

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‘Vaudeville’: Stage Left Theatre Company performs variety show fundraiser to benefit the local nonprofit


Special to The Gazette

MEDINA — When times are tough, families come together to offer support and enjoy each other’s company.

This simple idea is the driving force behind the nonprofit Stage Left Theatre Company’s debut fundraiser, “Vaudeville Revue,” which takes place Jan. 30 and 31 at the Drake Center for the Arts in Medina.

Stage Left Theatre Company presents “Vaudeville Revue,” a fundraiser to support the nonprofit, on Jan. 30 and 31 at the Drake Center for the Arts in Medina. (Back row, from left) David Dick, Jim Dove, Dana LaFay. (Front row, from left): Amy Dick, Kate League, Alicia Valentine and Robert Daniels. (Stage Left Theatre Company photo)

“Last year when we started planning this event we were in the middle of ‘Cabaret,’” said Jennifer Dove, Stage Left Theatre Company president and executive director. “We had an idea we needed to do a benefit to raise some money for Stage Left. We hadn’t done one for a while, and we had all of these incredibly gifted performers with all of these diverse talents who wanted to be a part of helping us raise some money.

“So we decided what better way to do that than a variety show. It’s a family-friendly show with a variety of acts. We’ve got singing, dancing, lots of comedy, magic and things like that.”

Among the local community performers taking part in the “Vaudeville Revue” are David Dick, Jim Dove, Dana LaFay, Amy Dick, Kate League, Alicia Valentine, Robert Daniels and more.

As for what folks can expect, think your quintessential ’60s and ’70s television variety shows (“The Dean Martin Show,” “Donny and Marie”) and you’re in the ballpark. Some of the songs expected to be performed at the show include Vaudeville-inspired numbers “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “Mack the Knife.”

“Intentionally or not, it’s vaudeville,” Dove said. “Any variety show is kind of inspired by vaudeville. So I’d say it’s in that vein but ours is a little more dated to that vaudeville era.”

Established in 2004, the Stage Left Theatre Company has become synonymous with its annual summertime “Shakespeare in the Square” shows that take place in Uptown Park. This year the theater company is hoping to produce “Romeo and Juliet.” However, funds are tight.

“We’re a rather small community theater, so we don’t have the financial support that some of the bigger community theaters in the area have,” Dove said. “So we kind of do all of our fundraising ourselves. With our main production being ‘Shakespeare in the Square,” which is a free event, our revenue from that is not always what you would get from having a regular show. That’s why we’re then forced to come up with other means of funding.”

She added, “Since we’re a little bit smaller and we do a little bit more unique, diverse entertainment than what Medina has seen for a while, we just want to keep plugging along and providing the area with some different forms of entertainment.”

Dove promises audiences attending the “Vaudeville Revue” will leave the show in a happy mood from laughing, as well from knowing they helped a Medina County theater organization meet its fundraising goals.

“We appreciate any support whether you come to the show and have a good time or if they’re unable to come,” Dove said. “We greatly appreciate any donations that we get but we really wanted to give something to everyone who does support us to come and enjoy a really great show. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.”

The “Vaudeville Revue” takes place at 8 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31 at the Drake Center for the Arts, 222 S. Broadway, Medina. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit www.stagelefttheatre

Benson may be reached at ididhear@aol.com.